First Connections

Welcome to First Connections!

First Connections is a non-profit, family support organization that provides comprehensive services to families with infants and young children. Funded through a Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Grant, First Connections provides support to families with children birth through age 8 in eleven metro-west communities including Acton, Bedford, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury, and Westford.

More about Early Childhood Council and Child Care Tuition Assistance.

For a list of all of our programs click here
For our current newsletter click here
For our resource publications click here

Upcoming Events

 

Baby Sign Language
Join Sheryl White of Baby Kneads and give your baby the ability to communicate before he/she can speak. Learn how to reduce frustration and enhance communication. You'll learn a few signs so you can get started  right away.
Thursday, October 23
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Belmont Library, 336 Concord Avenue, Belmont
Free. Sign up Required:
617-993-2880

 

5 slots available for The Butterfly Place
Saturday, October 25
There are currently 5 slots available for First Connections' morning at The Butterfly Place in Westford. Geared toward children age 3-8. If you are interested in attending this free visit to learn about caterpillars and butterflies, please email: lmatthews@jri.org

 

Seniors and Small Fries
Join parents, children and senior citizens for an intergenerational story, song, and craft afternoon in Carlisle. Projects will be geared toward ages 2-5, are free, and open to families from any town.
Thursday, November 13
2:00-3:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Placemats

 

Wednesday, December 17
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Snow Theme
RSVP for 1 or both dates: lmatthews@jri.org Bring your grandparents or senior friend!

 

Emerson Healthy Living Upcoming Classes
Infant CPR
Learn infant CPR and take home a kit for future practice. $50 for up to two participants.
November 18 or December 9

 

Baby Care for Grandparents
Learn the new baby care "rules" in this fun class. $30/couple
December 18, 7-8:30 pm

 

Babysitter Training
Geared toward 10-13 year olds includes first aid and a Certificate of Participation.
November 15 or December 13
9:00-2:00 p.m., $45
 
To Register: call 978-287-3777 or go to www.emersonhealthyliving.org

 

The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
Wednesday, November 5
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Oak Meadow School, Littleton
Guest: Jessica Lahey, Educator and Writer
Free. Register thru The Discovery Museum: www.discoverymuseums.org

 

PLAYGROUPS:There are still spots available in the following Fall 2014 playgroups.

  • 0-11 Mo. Non-mobile baby playgroup in Boxboro
  • Littleton Library Toddler Group
  • Science Playgroup at The Discovery Museum in Acton

 

PARENT EDUCATION:

Updates
  • The Gentle Sleep Techniques for Babies seminar on Nov. 13th still has openings.

    Thursday, November 13, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

    Sargent Memorial Library, Boxborough

  • The Raising Challenging Children program is currently in the screening phase and will begin when we have 8 parents registered.
  • A 6-session Working Parents Group will run on Saturday mornings when we have 6 parents registered.
  • Preparing for Parenthood on November 15 or December 6, 1-3:00 pm, has openings.
  • Adoption Learn & Play Group is actively recruiting new members.
The Ferber Method Demystified
with Dr. Richard Ferber
Thursday, November 20, 7:00 p.m.
The Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord 
Join The Concord Museum and the Fenn School for an exploration of the latest sleep techniques for babies and young children with sleep expert Dr. Richard Ferber. Books will be available for purchase and signing following the lecture. Free, but space is limited:
Register online: www.concordmuseum.org

 

Gentle Sleep Support Workshop
with Pediatric Sleep Consultant Sarah Kerrigan, M.A.
Thursday, November 13, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Sargent Memorial Library, Boxborough
Learn about why babies and toddlers sleep the way they do; how biology and psychology affect your child's sleep, gentle techniques to support the sleep learning process; tools and strategies you can apply with your own child and family. This workshop does not promote a "right way" to help a child sleep, but provides information and tools that can empower parents to make choices that are right for their own families. Discussion and question/answer time allowed. Free - please send your contact information to First Connections to attend: lmatthews@jri.org  

 

Preschool Information Night - Maynard
Thursday, November 6, 7-9:00 p.m.
Boys and Girls Club of Assabet Valley, 212 Great Rd., Maynard
This free event is hosted by Maynard Family Association and will include representatives and information from many towns including:
A Place to Grow, Acton Co-operative School, Children's Meetinghouse, The Community School, Concord Children's Center, Concord Montessori School, Congregation Beth Elohim Early Learning Center, Drumlin Farm Preschool, Infant-Toddler Children's Center, Kids-a-Lot Country Day, Knowledge Beginnings, Learn and Play Preschool, Little Hands Academy, Magic Garden, My Montessori of Sudbury, Nashoba Valley Children's Center, Sudbury Co-operative Preschool, The Learning Experience. Questions? Email maynardfamilyassociation@gmail.com

 

Treating Fears, Phobias, and Emotional Distress in Children presented by Karen Levine, Ph.D
Tuesday, October 28, 7:00 p.m.
Goodnow Library, 21 Concord Road, Sudbury
This workshop will illustrate how anxiety and behavior issues are present in conjunction with many other diagnoses in children. Attendees will learn specific approaches to treating common fears, phobias, and meltdown triggers in children; discuss replays and adaptations of cognitive behavioral therapy and uses of gradual exposure; and understand how you can better help children at home. Examples will be shown. Free. RSVP: sudburysepac@gmail.com.

 

Helping Kids and Teens Cope with Anxiety
presented by Aureen Pinto Wagner, Ph.D.
Wednesday, November 5, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
EDCO Collaborative, 36 Middlesex Turnpike, Bedford
Anxiety is the most common emotional problem in children and teens, and can sidetrack youngsters from learning, making friends and having fun. If your child worries too much, seems intense and reactive, insists upon doing things perfectly, gets nervous around people, is reluctant to try new things or has meltdowns over little things, join Dr. Wagner for a discussion on normal and abnormal anxiety. Other topics include worry, shyness, separation anxiety, test anxiety, perfectionism and rituals. Dr. Wagner is an internationally-renowned speaker, author, and clinician. Free ($5-10 donation helps defray workshop cost). Register with dmullaley@edcollab.org or call 781-259-3445. .

 

The Early Years Parent Education Series
Presented by The Peter Pan Center for Social & Emotional Growth, 60 Willow Road, Ayer
11/6/14: Physical, Language, and Cognitive Development
11/13/14: Emotional and Social Development
11/20/14: Tips & Tools for Toddler & Preschool Behavior
12/4/14: Tips & Tools for Kindergarten-Grade 2 Behavior
12/11/14: Schedules, Routines & Transitions: Using Positive Behavioral Supports for Survival!
12/18/14: Let's Review and Practice!
Parents/caregivers of children with special needs are encouraged to participate. Babysitting available with reservations ($10 first child, $5 additional child). Attend the full series ($240 one parent/$360 both parents, or $45/workshop one parent/$70 both parents). 978-772-1255 or lrouelette.peterpancenter@gmail.com  

 

SUPPORT GROUPS:

  • Emotional Well Being After Baby, meeting weekly, is always open to new moms. While this is an ongoing, weekly group, before attending for the first time please contact the facilitator, Laurie Ganberg, LICSW at lganberg@jri.org or 978-287-0221, ext. 219. Childcare provided for older siblings with advance notice.

    Every Monday, 10:00-11:30 a.m. at First Connections, Concord

Parent Child  

Playgroup Registration for September 2014 is now open Click Here for a complete list.

 

 

To register for any of the above workshops/ programs email lmatthews@jri.org or call 978-287-0221

Looking for more activities to do with your family? Check out brainbuildinginprogress.org for activities around Massachusetts.
 
First Connections is funded by a Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, the Acton-Boxborough United Way, Concord Carlisle Community Chest, Maynard Community Chest, Stow Community Chest, private foundations and individual donations.